Take Control of the Interview
by monsterstaff, published 11/13/2013
The Employer Has the AdvantageAlthough the employment process is a buy/sell transaction and is appears that both the employer and the applicant have an equal position, in most cases, the employer has the distinct advantage. As such, far too many applicants allow themselves to be victimized by the process more times than they should. Why? Because they don’t realize that they can exert more influence over the process than just answering some questions and “hoping” that they did alright.
Preparation is the KeyWhile an applicant may never control the interview process completely, they can take control of how they present themselves and what they want the prospective employer to know about them. How you might ask, by spending the right amount of time in preparation for the interview beyond how you smile and greet the interviewer. To properly prepare for an interview, an applicant who wants to be a serious contender for a job must do the following:
- Have clarity on their value message - i.e. here’s how I can help your company. You can be bold in an interview without coming across as being obnoxious. To do so means you have to be able to demonstrate your value to the employer. Be prepared to offer specific answers as to why they should hire you and how you can contribute to the company’s efforts.
- Have a strategy to create interest in the mind of the interviewer beyond what is written on your resume. A basic principle of sales is “stories sell and facts tell.” This story is very much applicable to the interview process. If the opportunity presents itself, tell a short story about how you helped a previous employer move forward. The stories exist, take the time and be ready to tell them!
- Do your research. Be in a position, if the opportunity presents itself, to ask really good and relevant questions about the employer, what they do and how they do it. Too many applicants stand like a “deer in the headlights” when asked if they have any questions.
- Connect the dots. Most interviewers have full and busy schedules, don’t assume because they saw your cover letter and resume and spoke with you, that they know who you are, what you do and how you can help their company. Fill in the blanks and connect the dots on what you offer so it becomes easier for them to see the value you bring to the table. With all of the applicants they see, connecting the dots helps you to be “memorable” – that’s the ultimate goal!